Stages of meditation

Stages of meditation

There are many ways to present the stages on the path that leads to the awakening.

Descriptions vary from very complex and detailed ones to those that are utterly simple. In the Chan school the most well known one is ‘ The Ten Ox Herding Pictures’ which visually and conceptually describes the path from the beginning to the final realization.

Relaying on the same principle of simplicity and convenience, shifu Sheng Yen presented the path of Chan meditation in three stages:

stupnjevi meditacije

First stage – Encountering the self

On this stage we are encountering the self and the fact that we do not have control over our mind. We strongly experience inner restlessness, tension, emotional turmoil and mental scatteredness. Regardless of how difficult and discouraging this encounter might be, we are not helpless. We have the method of meditation and a certain understanding of how to approach the practice. Furthermore, we have the support of a teacher and peers on the path. This stage marks the transition from scaterness toward focused state that is a result of a regular and persistent daily practice.

Second stage – Unified mind

On this stage we transition from a focused mind into a unified mind. Depending on the depth of it, we talk about unification of mind and body, mind and surrounding and even of mind and the whole universe. The experience of unification is important and presents a certain milestone in the practice.  Although we discover the benefits of meditation from the very start, the unified mind is by far the most important experience until this point. It irrefutable confirms the value of our efforts and persistence in meditation.

Third stage – True mind

On this stage, we can transition from the state of one mind, as it is called in Chan, to the state of no-mind. No-mind is our true mind, free of attachments, suffering and sorrows.

Since it lies beyond the words and dualistic understanding, it is impossible to express it. The term ‘to illuminate the mind and see its nature’ refers to the experience of no-mind.

Stages are best understood conditionally. They provide a better understanding of the experiences we encounter in meditation and direct us on the path. We should keep in mind that nothing is rigid, fixed and unchangeable. If the conditions are right, the mind can transforme instantaneously. 

Learn to meditate

Based on the four decades of experience in teaching meditation by our teacher Zarko Andricevic, the Tranquility and Insight meditation course is a starting point in the cultivation of the mind.

Learn to meditate in this comprehensive two-day program that will provide you with everything you need to get started: the context of Chan practice, its methods, gradual progress on the path, obstacles and how to deal with them, types of meditation in Chan and much more.

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Meditation course

Tranquility and Insight, meditation course

Saturday, 11.05.2024. u 9:00 -
Sunday, 12.05.2024. u 17:00

Chan Center Hartovski Vrh and online

Hartje bb, Kostanjevac | Zoom